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Laos marks World Anti-corruption Day

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Article from Vientiane Times
Author: Vientiane Times Staff
Published: 03/12/2009
Newspaper section: International Cooperation

The government will seek cooperation from the media in its anti-corruption efforts, a top government official announced on Tuesday.

Addressing a gathering to mark International Day against Corruption at the National Culture Hall in Vientiane , Deputy Prime Minister Asang Laoly said the government would enable the media and the public to report on incidents of corruption .

It is hoped the possibility of public revelations will deter government officials from becoming involved in corruption, with the fear of exposure on TV and radio and in newspapers making public servants think twice before flouting the rules. Many countries find the media a useful partner in keeping corruption at bay.

The government will also adopt measures to protect and thank good citizens who participate in preventing and combating corruption, Mr Asang said.

Vientiane Mayor Sombath Yealiher, representatives of United Nations agencies and other international organisations and several hundred government officials attended the event.

Mr Asang, who is also President of the Government Inspection Authority, said the government will continue to incorporate anti-corruption teaching at educational institutions and the National Academy of Politics and Public Administration.

This aims to help educate the general public and government officials so they can be honest in performing their duties, he said.

The government will continue to improve institutional arrangements on anti-corruption through subsidiary bodies and will develop a national anti-corruption strategy to strengthen necessary norms and implement anti-corruption projects.

Other efforts will include increasing government efforts to reduce poverty and improving living conditions for people, especially government officials, so they will not seek bribes.

The government intends to take strict measures against offenders through educational and administrative disciplining and prosecution according to the law.

Mr Asang said the government will continue to work with international organisations through regional and bilateral cooperation to prevent and combat corruption.

Corruption was an undesirable activity that occurred worldwide, he said, adding that the Party and government clearly understood that corruption impacts on national development and people's living conditions. It could lower people's trust and confidence in state administration.

Anti-corruption policies are among the government's priorities and must be continuously implemented, he said, adding that measures to combat corruption require the involvement of the public .

He said Laos had taken many steps such as the adoption of laws including the Law on Anti Corruption, Law on State Inspection, Law on Complaints and State Audit, and Law on State Accounting.

Laos has also ratified the UN Convention against Corruption. All these affirmative actions reflect the close attention of the Lao government to prevent and combat corruption through setting up the necessary legal frameworks.

UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Mr Stephane Vigie, said he appreciated the government's ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption, saying this represented a crucial step towards combating the devastating effects of corruption.